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DeltaOne wine on menu vs. wine on board - never the same

DeltaOne wine on menu vs. wine on board - never the same

Old Feb 13, 20, 8:02 am
  #1  
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DeltaOne wine on menu vs. wine on board - never the same

Hi all,
I enjoy a glass of (nice) red wine and despite having given up on getting nice wine, I do still enjoy looking at the wine options on the menu, and picking the option I'd like before drink service comes out.
Over the past two years I probably have had a <40 % rate of actually getting the wine that is on the wine list, and it's frustrating.

Is this me, or is this consistent? Not sure if it applies to the white or sparkling wines.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 8:50 am
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With the sparkling wine, watch out that FAs don't try to serve you the PDB rather than the real champagne that's listed in the menu.

I noticed recently on a flight around the first of the month that wines from the previous month's menu were available on board, which made sense as presumably the aircraft had been catered with wine before leaving the USA.

Sometimes FAs discover bottles of wine on board that aren't on the list if the aircraft previously flew a route that gets different wine, such as South America.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
With the sparkling wine, watch out that FAs don't try to serve you the PDB rather than the real champagne that's listed in the menu.
I noticed recently on a flight around the first of the month that wines from the previous month's menu were available on board, which made sense as presumably the aircraft had been catered with wine before leaving the USA.
Sometimes FAs discover bottles of wine on board that aren't on the list if the aircraft previously flew a route that gets different wine, such as South America.
Is there really that much variation in the menus and the wines? I feel like I've been having this mushroom soup for 3 months now and that the menu I got on ATL-SCL was the exact same fall/winter menu that I got TATL on JFK-LHR?
I did get the thai coconut LHR-JFK soup.

I am an avid user of the vivino app and recall seeing wines that retail at $25+ on Delta 4-5 years ago. Now I see $10-$20 wines mostly.

Also what's the reason again with the PDB being cheaper than the onboard beverage? Is that the tax thing?
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Old Feb 13, 20, 8:59 am
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Andrea Robinson (think that's her name) who delta touts as their in house som, must be getting paid well because I would be ashamed at the quality of Delta's wine as a professional som. Domestic has become undrinkable in many cases. One would think Delta would have decent quality (quality does not mean expensive) wines flying across country, especially going to any of the Bay Area. Some good Napa or Sonoma wines. Guessing they choose their wines by the budget that are given and large quantity producers fit that bill.

I fly to Greece and Italy yearly. Just once would I like to have a decent Italian/Greek red wine on board when flying to these destinations in Delta One. Before anybody says it, there are high quality Greek reds out there and available in the US
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Old Feb 13, 20, 9:08 am
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The D1 menu changes every three months. Some regions (South America, different countries in Asia) get different menus. South American flights are much more likely to have wines from Argentina and Chile.

Yes, the PDB sparkling wine (usually a Prosecco) is much worse and much cheaper than the real French champagne that should be served up in the air.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by buckeye91 View Post
Andrea Robinson (think that's her name) who delta touts as their in house som, must be getting paid well because I would be ashamed at the quality of Delta's wine as a professional som. Domestic has become undrinkable in many cases. One would think Delta would have decent quality (quality does not mean expensive) wines flying across country, especially going to any of the Bay Area. Some good Napa or Sonoma wines. Guessing they choose their wines by the budget that are given and large quantity producers fit that bill.

I fly to Greece and Italy yearly. Just once would I like to have a decent Italian/Greek red wine on board when flying to these destinations in Delta One. Before anybody says it, there are high quality Greek reds out there and available in the US
Agree on Andrea Robinson! What a joke by now! And I understand they need huge volumes, and quality doesn't need to be expensive. It's just ridiculous they can't do a better job at planning and stocking so that the running out is an exception, or at least a 20% occurrence, not a 60%+ occurrence.

VS had an interesting wine from Crete I think last month, quite special but good. DL had a barbera d'alba on the menu in November LHR-JFK but as usual "they ran out".
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Old Feb 13, 20, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by mayhem View Post
Agree on Andrea Robinson! What a joke by now! And I understand they need huge volumes, and quality doesn't need to be expensive. It's just ridiculous they can't do a better job at planning and stocking so that the running out is an exception, or at least a 20% occurrence, not a 60%+ occurrence.
I've wondered why DL hasn't gone with a vendor like 14 Hands or Chateau St Michelle out of Washington, at least for domestic F. Both companies mass produces and both brands can be purchased individually for about $10-$12 a bottle and both make a pretty decent wine for the price. And it'd allow DL the marketing boost of saying they're supporting a wine company in an area they've been heavily marketing in over the past several years (Seattle/Washington). 14 Hands is usually my go-to when picking up a bottle at the store.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by buckeye91 View Post
Andrea Robinson (think that's her name) who delta touts as their in house som, must be getting paid well because I would be ashamed at the quality of Delta's wine as a professional som. Domestic has become undrinkable in many cases.
I don't believe her name is attached to domestic offerings apart from the handful of transcontinental routes with Delta One service.

Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I've wondered why DL hasn't gone with a vendor like 14 Hands or Chateau St Michelle out of Washington, at least for domestic F. Both companies mass produces and both brands can be purchased individually for about $10-$12 a bottle and both make a pretty decent wine for the price. \
I suspect they're paying half that amount (or less) for domestic F bottles.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 11:15 am
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Of course DL generally negotiates good volume discounts--they don't pay retail prices.

For years, either DL or PMNW had Chateau St Michelle wines on most domestic flights in FC. I still think of it as airplane wine, and not in a good way. Recently D1 had a good single vineyard Chardonnay from St Michelle.

Let's not encourage DL to do some nonsense of featuring wine from near their hubs of DTW, ATL, MSP, or even SLC, let alone certain focus cities like RDU, IND, BOS, etc.

Once upon a time the LAX SC featured some nice California wines, when SCs were permitted to pick their own. In remember Kenwood being a frequent choice.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yes, the PDB sparkling wine (usually a Prosecco) is much worse and much cheaper than the real French champagne that should be served up in the air.
Anyone know what they typically serve as PDB sparkly? I believe they use Mionetto for the bellinis in economy. I think it's a fine choice, good value at $13-15/bottle retail. (I served it at my wedding )

What I hate is that when I ask for champagne in business class during the cart drink service, they usually have someone in the galley pour it, so I have no idea what I'm actually being served. Has anyone figured out how to get them to pour at your seat without the FA throwing a hissy? (One time years ago on Continental BusinessFirst - which generally had great service - I asked if I could see the two red choices as the FA only knew "California Red" and "French Red" and there was no menu. She returned and slammed both bottles on my tray table and walked away. :shrug: )

Are they still doing "premium" wines on the JFK-CDG/LHR routes? I remember at one point the inflight bubbly was Charles Heidsieck* which IIRC retails for like $60, but it was something much more basic on JFK-FRA/ZRH.

* NV of course, not the 1995 Blanc des Millenaires which JL First Class uses as their "backup" after the two bottles of ~$500 Salon are emptied (but which I preferred to the Salon anyway, lol, at least at altitude...)
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Old Feb 13, 20, 11:24 am
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It's not inappropriate to ask to see the bottle, but I've also sent back glasses of sparkling wine that I could tell were the ground junk and not the real French stuff I had specified. Some FAs claim not to know the difference or that ground and air "champagne" are different, but others are just too lazy to open the bottle.

I'll sometimes ask for French red etc. if the cart with wine isn't at my seat as it seems less confusing (and less likely to lead to mistakes) than asking for it by some long name in a foreign language.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I've wondered why DL hasn't gone with a vendor like 14 Hands or Chateau St Michelle out of Washington, at least for domestic F. Both companies mass produces and both brands can be purchased individually for about $10-$12 a bottle and both make a pretty decent wine for the price. And it'd allow DL the marketing boost of saying they're supporting a wine company in an area they've been heavily marketing in over the past several years (Seattle/Washington). 14 Hands is usually my go-to when picking up a bottle at the store.
You should really check out the Texas section at HEB. Becker Indian Summer is my go-to $10-12 bottle, and there are some nice options in the $20 range as well.

I do agree with your point about those options for domestic F. I would imagine DL could pay somewhere from $6-8 per bottle for those brands with the quantities they would purchase.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Let's not encourage DL to do some nonsense of featuring wine from near their hubs of DTW, ATL, MSP, or even SLC, let alone certain focus cities like RDU, IND, BOS, etc.
Can you imagine JFK featuring Long Island wines
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Old Feb 13, 20, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by MS02113 View Post

I suspect they're paying half that amount (or less) for domestic F bottles.
Correct. The most recent domestic F red I was served, a Hames Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, is available at my local Grocery Outlet for $6.99. I suspect Deltaís wholesale price is closer to $4-5, given typical retail grocery markups.

Chateau Ste Michelle *does* make an appearance frequently on international J wine lists, and it seems Deltaís budget for those is roughly double the domestic cost at around $10 or so per bottle. A few years back, it was closer to $15, but that hasnít been true since roughly 2018 when a noticeable quality drop occurred.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 4:47 pm
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My experience as far as wine list accuracy doesnít really match OPís. I do see old bottles from the previous rotation briefly around the first week or two of a new cycle, but other than that the wines are very consistent. I wonder if certain stations are more likely to miscater; OP, if you can post which airport catered the flight and which wines appeared instead the next time this happens to you, it would be interesting data to get to the bottom of what might be happening here.
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